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New York Yankees owner reveals staggering cost of a potential Juan Soto contract extension

New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees made one of the biggest moves of the MLB offseason, acquiring perennial All-Star outfielder Juan Soto. If the team wants to keep him beyond the 2024 season, however, it appears making him one of the highest-paid MLB players won’t be enough.

Soto, entering his age-25 season, has made it clear he’s unlikely to sign a contract extension anytime soon. Represent by agent Scott Boras, the three-time All-Star selection has every intention of testing MLB free agency next winter.

  • Juan Soto contract: $31 million salary in 2024, 2025 free agent

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New York knew even before it acquired Soto that he was unlikely to sign a long-term extension in the near future. Instead, the club wanted the inside track on enticing Soto a season before he officially hits the open market. As for the cost of re-signing him, the club is very aware of that as well.

Speaking to reporters at spring training, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner admitted the club would likely have to pay Soto more than it is paying All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge. While it’s not something he’s thought about a lot, he does recognize it’s likely a price the market will set.

“I’m not sure Judge would care if we got Juan Soto for many years to come. But the market is what the market is, and he’s going to cost what he costs. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner on potentially paying Juan Soto more than Aaron Judge (H/T Bryan Hoch)

For context, the Yankees signed Judge to a nine-year deal worth $360 million in December 2022. Soto and Los Angeles Dodgers two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani are the only hitters making $40-plus million annually.

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  • Juan Soto stats: .275/.410/.519, 35 home runs, 109 RBI, .930 OPS, 32 doubles

The Yankees already paid a significant cost to acquire Soto, trading Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez and Drew Thorpe to the San Diego Padres in exchange for the MVP candidate. If New York is unable to re-sign him and loses him to another club this offseason, it could make that deal far more costly in hindsight.

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